EAST CARONDELET, Ill. – The East Carondelet mayor in Illinois wanted to fire the builder over the new park pavilions which are across the Mississippi River from south St. Louis.
The town secured nearly $30,000 in grant funding from St. Clair County for two new pavilions in early 2021, but the work is not done.
East Carondelet Mayor Herb Simmons said the first pavilion was more than a year overdue in developments. The pavilion is nearing completion, but Simmons said it didn’t seem safe.
“When the wind’s blowing, you can hear it, you can see it shaking,” he said.
Simmons and Village Trustee, Bryan Reddick said they found more problems with the structure.
“The main thing is safety. I don’t want kids or people down here having a little party while they’re watching their kids play, sitting underneath it and the thing falls down,” said Simmons. “This project’s been going on since March of 2021.”
Bill Ball, the contractor of Legacy Homes and Construction, said he admitted delays had been long but he said the labor shortage had hit his company hard. He said his 15-member staff is now down to three. Ball said he assured village officials he was close to finishing the job and that the pavilion would certainly be safe when he did.
“The past year has been very trying,” said Ball. “I know it wasn’t getting done as fast as they would like, but our commitment was to accomplish the end goal … just try to make lemonade out of lemons and just do the best you can.”
The East Carondelet Village Engineer, Jon Kremer said on Monday that Ball had braced the roof and substructure, backfilling beneath the edges of the concrete floor, and added the center ‘cap’ along the crest of the metal roof.
Kremer said he recommended the same company build a second pavilion at the community center, as originally planned. Ball said he has agreed to complete the second structure in 14 business days. Once the village board approves, there are penalties if he misses the 14-day deadline.
“I know if they take the step with me, they’ll be glad they did,” said Ball.